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Green Power Partnership Program Updates

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Issue 37, January 25, 2016

EPA Releases Updated Top Partner Lists

On January 25, EPA released its updated Top Partner rankings, which highlight the annual green power use of leading Green Power Partners within the United States and across individual industry sectors. This quarterly update saw significant movement on several of the lists:

  • National Top 100: Cisco Systems, Inc. and Samsung Electronics and Semiconductors greatly increased their green power use and moved up to numbers 4 and 63 on the list, respectively. Ohio University, a new Partner, makes its debut on the list at number 89.
  • Fortune 500: Anthem, Inc. / Worthington, OH Facility and Ralph Lauren Corporation, two new Partners, appear at 61 and 64 on the list, respectively.
  • On-site: The Macerich Company, a new Partner, makes its first appearance on the list at 20.
  • Local Government: The City of Houston's increased green power use also enabled it to take back number 1 on the Top 30 Local Government list.

EPA will next update the Top Lists on April 25. Check out all of the Partnership's top green power users.

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EPA Releases Updates to the College & University and On-Site Renewables Challenges

Throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, the Green Power Partnership is tracking the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power usage in the nation. On January 25, GPP released the second update to this year's Challenge rankings. On April 25, 2016, GPP will conclude the Challenge and recognize a Champion Green Power Conference as well as the largest single green power users within each participating conference as 2015-2016 EPA Green Power Challenge Champions.

As of January 25, there are 41 conferences participating in the Challenge, including The President's Athletic Conference, who is new to the Challenge. The Big Ten Conference, the defending champion, is still ranked first, with a significant lead over the second-ranked Big 12 Conference. The University of Pennsylvania is the eight-time defending individual school champion and is still ranked first, with a significant lead over second-ranked Georgetown University.

To learn more about the 2015-2016 EPA College and University Green Power Challenge, including the individual conference leaders for each of the competing conferences, visit: http://www3.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.

GPP also released updates to the On-site Renewables Challenge. We added one new Partner to the Challenge and total of 308 Participants for a total on-site green power usage of 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). EPA created the Challenge in support of President Obama's Climate Action Plan (PDF) (21 pp, 311K, About PDF), with a goal of doubling the use of on-site green power by Green Power Partners by 2020. The next update will occur April 25.

To learn more about the On-site Renewables Challenge, visit: http://www3.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/onsite_challenge.htm.

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Partner Spotlight–Reformation

Reformation logoKathleen Talbot, Director of Operations & Sustainability for Reformation, answers some questions regarding Reformation's sustainability achievements and goals, and its involvement with GPP:

Q. Why did your organization decide to use green power? What do you see as the benefits of using green power and what role does it play in your company's broader business and environmental strategy?

A. It's our mission to lead and inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable, and we integrate sustainability across our business—from fabric sourcing, to our building infrastructure and operations. We think climate change is one of the most critical issues we need to address in the fashion industry, and in business in general. While we work hard to limit our impact, making stuff uses resources and causes emissions. Better isn't sustainable, it's just better. We need to invest in programs that actually restore what we use.

Q. Is your organization currently striving to achieve a green power goal and is there a timeframe? What steps are being taken to reach it?

A. We have purchased renewable energy certificates (RECs) for our factory, headquarters, and retail stores. In April 2015, we started measuring the carbon footprint of all of our products across the life-cycle, and we purchase offsets for that footprint as well. The long-term goal would be to be net zero or even restorative when you assess our holistic business impact, and we think we're well on our way!

Q. Describe any innovative green power strategies your organization has implemented or is planning. Do you have any upcoming projects or strategies that relate to your company's green power usage?

A. In 2016, we will expand our factory and headquarters, and will install on-site solar and explore other demonstration projects for renewable energy.

Q. What are two or three lessons you've learned in making the switch to green power or in increasing your green power use?

A. Find a good partner—there are some great providers out there, and find someone you trust, who has strong third-party certifications, and that has similar business values. We looked to other B Corps when we started our search, and referrals. The other lesson would be to keep a two-prong approach—keep up efficiency efforts AND invest in offsets and renewable energy. I think RECs can sometimes feel like a cure for a symptom, but you also want to tackle root cause.

Q. What advice would you give to other organizations interested in using green power, and is there anything you would do differently? What barriers did you encounter when switching to green power?

A. Shop around a bit—we defaulted to a provider with our public utility for the first few years, and then switched to a provider that was more aligned with our brand, and even reduced the total expenditure of the program. As long as you have buy-in in your organization and value green power, it's really actually fairly straightforward and an easy program to administer.

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On Twitter? Use #EPAGreenPower in Your Tweets

Please share with others your green energy achievements and involvement with GPP. Every tweet that includes #EPAGreenPower will show up in our Twitter feed, which is located on our home page. Take a look at these recent examples:

twitter feed sample

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Join GPP’s LinkedIn Group

If you're on LinkedIn, consider joining and participating in GPP's LinkedIn Group. By joining, you can get the latest information on the Green Power Partnership, as well as learn more about the green power market. Sign up today!

Join GPP's LinkedIn Group now!

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By the Numbers – 2015 in Review

In 2015, the Green Power Partnership welcomed 262 new Partners that are using more than 1.8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power—equivalent to the electricity use of more than 165,000 average American homes for one year! In addition, GPP recognized five new Green Power Communities that use nearly 240 million kWh of green power—equal to nearly 22,000 houses' electricity use for one year. Help us spread the word!

Tweet this: 260+ orgs committed to using renewables & joined @EPA's Green Power Partnership in '15. Partner list: http://1.usa.gov/1nr56Wl #EPAGreenPower

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Federal Government’s First-Ever Joint Solar Power Purchase Agreement

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), EPA, and U.S. Forest Service, awarded a contract for the federal government's first-ever joint solar power procurement in California and Nevada. Solar developer SolarCity Corporation of San Mateo, California was awarded a power purchase agreement (PPA) as part of the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Pilot (FASPP) — a strategic sourcing project that combines several small to mid-size photovoltaic (PV) installation opportunities within northern California and northern Nevada into a single procurement.

The FASPP is a contracting solution designed to take advantage of economies of scale in solar installation with no up-front cost to the government. This project brings together multiple federal agencies and one private company to demonstrate that combined procurement and project management resources results in greater efficiency and cost effectiveness. This multi-agency energy procurement will not only save the government $5 million in energy costs, it will also help achieve the Administration's 2025 Renewable Energy Goal as outlined in Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.

To learn more, visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/ 4773a8f53fc9eff185257f1c006532d0!OpenDocument.

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GPP Partners are Pledging to Act on Climate

In December, the White House announced commitments from an additional 73 companies in the United States that are joining the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. These new commitments bring the total to 154 companies. By signing the Pledge, these companies are demonstrating their support for action on climate change and the Paris climate change agreement that takes aims for a low-carbon, sustainable future. Together, the 154 companies operate in every state, employ 11 million people, represent $4.2 trillion in annual revenue, and have more than $7 trillion in market capitalization. Many of the signatories are also GPP Partners, including BNY Mellon, Cisco Systems, Inc., Equinix, Kaiser Permanente, Kohl's Department Stores, Staples, and Wal-Mart.

To learn more, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/01/white-house-announces-additional-commitments-american-business-act

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Reminder: GPP/NREL "State of Market" Webinar January 27

On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm (EST), GPP will host a webinar examining the state of the green power market within the United States. This webinar will focus primarily on the voluntary market, through which consumers and institutions voluntarily procure renewable energy for all or part of their electricity needs.

The webinar will review:

  • The various green power product options
  • Where these products are available
  • Resource and pricing information
  • The most up-to-date statistics and trends in green power purchasing
  • The emergence of new green power procurement options, including power purchase agreements (PPAs), community solar programs, and community choice aggregations

The presentations will draw heavily from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's recently published Status and Trends in the U.S. Voluntary Green Power Market (PDF) (53 pp, 3.6MB) as well as the Green Power Partnership's program data.

Speakers include Christopher Kent, Program Manager for the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership, and Eric O'Shaughnessy, Renewable Energy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Register for the webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5091648503839228929

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EPA Webinar on Renewable Energy and the Clean Power Plan January 28

On Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 2:00-3:30 pm (EST), EPA will explain how renewable energy was used to set the Clean Power Plan goals, and how states and existing sources of carbon pollution can use renewable energy to meet those goals. This webinar is part of a series of webinars created to assist states as they consider state plan options and approaches. All webinars will include a Q&A session with EPA staff.

Register for the webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5504011543920678914

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RE100 Webinar January 28

RE100, a group of the world's most influential companies that are committed to 100% renewable power, is hosting a webinar with the Rocky Mountain Institute's (RMI) Business Renewables Center (BRC) on China's Renewable Energy Market and Policy. The webinar will occur on Thursday, January 28 at 10:30 am (EST).

Speakers include Cyril Yee, Principal at RMI, and Jenny Chu, Global Partnerships Manager at RE100. The webinar will cover:

  • An overview of China's renewable energy policy landscape
  • Onsite corporate renewable energy options
  • Offsite corporate renewable energy options
  • Electricity reforms and green electricity tariffs
  • RE100 and BRC partnership plans in China

For more information about the webinar, contact Roberto Zanchi (Roberto.Zanchi@cdp.net), Technical Manager of Renewable Energy at CDP. For more about RE100, visit http://there100.org/. For more about RMI's BRC, visit http://www.rmi.org/business_renewables_center.

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Climate Leadership Conference and Awards

Join us March 8-10 in Seattle for the annual Climate Leadership Conference, which convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through innovation and business solutions. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 event will host the first U.S. climate conference post-Paris to further accelerate climate solutions and a low-carbon economy. The Climate Leadership Conference is hosted annually by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry—with U.S. EPA as the headline sponsor.

During the conference on March 9th, EPA's 2016 Climate Leadership Awards will be presented. The awards honor exemplary efforts to address climate change and the outstanding action taken by the nation's corporate, organizational, and individual leaders. EPA's Administrator Gina McCarthy will provide the keynote address at the awards dinner.

Learn more about the Climate Leadership Conference and register to attend.

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States’ RPS Policies Yielded $7.4 Billion in Benefits in 2013

A new study estimates the United States realized $2.2 billion in benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as well as $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution in 2013. These benefits were a result of state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies that were in effect in many states in 2013.

The report was conducted by researchers from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Entitled A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards, the study evaluates the benefits and other impacts of RPS policies. RPS policies require utilities or other electricity providers to meet a minimum portion of their load with eligible forms of renewable electricity. They currently exist in 29 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C., and have been a driver for increased renewable electricity generation in the United States over the past decade. See the LBNL news release and the EERE Blog.

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Join GPP's LinkedIn Group now!

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Past Issues

GPP Program Update, Issue 36, November 23, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 35, October 29, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 34, September 22, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 33, August 10, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 32, June 16, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 31, May 13, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 30, April 8, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 29, March 10, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 28, February 12, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 27, January 13, 2015
GPP Program Update, Issue 26, December 11, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 25, October 20, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 24, September 22, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 23, August 11, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 22, July 14, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 21, June 17, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 20, May 5, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 19, April 7, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 18, March 10, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 17, February 10, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 16, January 13, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 15, December 19, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 14, November 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 13, October 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 12, September 9, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 11, August 12, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 10, July 15, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 9, June 17, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 8, May 13, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 7, April 8, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 6, March 11, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 5, February 20, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 4, January 14, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 3, December 17, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 2, November 26, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 1, October 22, 2012

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